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AP Literature

Walt Whitman
by

Balynn Bua

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of AP Literature

Walt Whitman "One's Self I Sing" Born on May 31, 1819
Son of Walter Whitman, a housebuilder, and Louisa Van Velsor.
The family consisted of nine children, who lived in Brooklyn and Long Island in the 1820s and 1830s. "One's Self I sing" One's-self I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.

Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far,The Female equally with the Male I sing.

Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful, for freest action form'd
under the laws divine, The Modern Man I sing. Themes "Leaves of Grass" Collections of Walt Whitman poetry that reflected his Romantic ideals on American society. Walt Whitman 1819-1892 Family moves to Brooklyn in 1823
Age 11, drops out to help support the family
1833 moves back to Long Island, working for several newspapers. Years later, starts working as a teacher
1841-1845, Whitman begins publishing fiction and poetry, and works as a journalist.
He stakes out radical positions on labor issues, women's property rights, capital punishment and immigration. Walt Whitman (Cont'd) 1885 Publishes "Leaves of Grass", father dies.
1861 Civil War begins and his brother, George is drafted into the army.
1865 Walt watches Abraham Lincoln give his second inaugural address. The celebration of the individual
"a simple, separate person" The poem embraces the value of the individual in a democratic society (American Society) "...sings" of life filled with "passion, pulse, and power" and "freest action formed under the laws divine" infers how America is a democratic government, founded upon the recognition of man's god-given rights, offers the freedom that makes life worth living. 'Poet of Democracy and Freedom' Whitman created"Leaves of Grass" after reading an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson which expressed a need for a uniquely American poet. Invention of a truly American free verse, didn't fit into the existing British model of poetry, which was a tradition of rhyme, meter and structure. "One's-self I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse." The poet sings of the self as "a simple separate person," however, Whitman also sees it as part of "the word Democratic," which represents the mass of people. "Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for
the Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far,The Female equally with the Male I sing." Whitman says he will sing of all physiology (study of life that deals with the functions and processes of living organisms), for neither the physiognomy (outer appearance).
He also refers to our spirit and physical body, our sexuality, male and female, and our wisdom. "Life" — in short, the "Modern Man," who, according to Whitman, is conscious of "self" but at the same time is aware of being part of the large mass of democracy. "Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful, for freest action form'd
under the laws divine, The Modern Man I sing." By Lynna Hua April 19, 1865 Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
October: Whitman publishes Drum-Taps (Inspired by Lincoln)
1873 Whitman suffers a stroke that will debilitate his left arm and leg.
1875 Whitman suffers from another stroke
April 14, 1887, Whitman gives a speech about Lincoln in New York. Mark Twain attended the speech.
March 26, 1892 Walt Whitman dies. Structure/Devices Used Free Verse
No specific rhyme scheme or structural format. Motifs Human Body: with physical contact comes spiritual communion: two bodies form one individual unit of togetherness. Symbolism Praise of the individual represents Whitman's analogy about the ideal democracy
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